• arts & culture

4 October 2018

Melbourne’s tram network will once again become a mobile art gallery, with the first of eight trams covered in local artwork rolling onto the tracks today, as part of Melbourne International Arts Festival.

Gunditjmara artist Hayley Millar-Baker and her Melbourne Art Tram

Gunditjmara artist Hayley Millar-Baker and her Melbourne Art Tram. Photo: James HH Morgan

The first tram to hit the tracks is by Gunditjmara artist Hayley Millar-Baker, whose striking design draws upon stories of Aboriginal existence in south-east Australia before, during, and after colonisation.

Now in its sixth year, the Melbourne Art Trams project invites Victorian artists and community groups to submit designs that will transform trams into mobile artworks for all to enjoy.

Year 9 Mount Waverley student Valerie Tang’s bright abstract design celebrating Melbourne’s rich cultural diversity has been selected for this year’s emerging artist tram.

This year’s other Art Trams include illustrator Oslo Davis’s celebration of swimming, muralist Stephen Baker’s geometric take on the city, street artist Oli Ruskidd’s touch of psychedelia, painter and printmaker Nick Howson’s ode to passengers and a tram by new media artist Troy Innocent which has its own augmented reality app.

In a nod to the original Transporting Art program the modern Melbourne Art Trams program is based on, one of this year’s trams is a recreation of one painted by the late artist David Larwill in 1986.

Larwill’s tram was in storage for more than 20 years, before being dusted off and photographed to recreate the original artwork on a modern tram.

Once this year’s trams have hit the tracks, voting will open for the $5,000 People’s Choice Award, which will be awarded at the end of the Melbourne International Arts Festival. The trams will stay on the tracks until around April 2019.

For information about this year's Melbourne Art Trams and the artists behind them visit Melbourne International Arts Festival